My Story My Rights: how individual stories of people with disabilities can contribute to knowledge development for UNCRPD monitoring
Zinayida Olshanska, Janneke van Doorn, Saskia C. van Veen
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) demands the involvement of persons with disabilities, however, their voice is often excluded from monitoring processes. The project My Story My Rights tested Participatory Narrative Inquiry (PNI) as a method for UNCRPD monitoring in Uganda. Through the project, 197 stories were shared by persons with disabilities from eight districts. Storytellers also completed questionnaires which identified important themes, barriers and actors in their stories, with ‘Education’, ‘Work & Employment’, and ‘Healthcare’ emerging as the most recurrent themes. During four sense-making sessions, 24 storytellers and 56 community members, representing key public institutions, discussed patterns across their stories and brought collective meaning to the three themes. A selection of project results was shared with the UNCRPD Committee in Geneva to support monitoring of UNCRPD implementation. Insights gained through use of PNI was found to add value to UNCRPD monitoring by offering quantitative and qualitative data on barriers and actors important for realizing the rights of persons with disabilities concerning the three themes. The method enabled people with disabilities to participate in monitoring by sharing their stories with their communities and developing knowledge about disability rights in Uganda.
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